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Government to sell more Statoil shares

February 16, 2005, 14:15 CET

The Ministry of Petroleum and Energy announced today, 16 February, that the Norwegian government is to sell 100 million shares in Statoil ASA.

This sale is directed at institutional investors both in Norway and internationally. Merrill Lynch International will handle the transaction.

After the sale to institutional investors, private individuals in Norway and the European Economic Area will be given the opportunity to buy shares at the same price.

The Storting (parliament) has previously authorised the government to reduce the state holding in Statoil to two-thirds of the shares.

At present, the government owns 1,653 million shares in the group – corresponding to 76.33 per cent of the stock.

That compares with an 81.7 per cent government holding when Statoil was listed on the stock market in June 2001.